Sunday, December 12, 2021

New Releases - December 2021

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in December 2021 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). December and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment. I've added the translator's name where known.

• Allen, Jo - Death in the Mist (ebook only) #7 DCI Jude Satterthwaite, Lake District
• Amphlett, Rachel - The Beachcomber #Case Files
• Anholt, Lawrence - Solstice of Death #3 DI Shanti Joyce & Vince Caine, the Mindful Detective
• Atkinson, Heather - Blood Ties #3 Gallowburn
• Bryndza, Robert - Darkness Falls #3 Kate Marshall
• Carrington, Sam - The Couple on Maple Drive
• Cookman, Lesley - Murder Most Merry (ebook only) Short Stories
• Cutts, Lisa - Murder at the Castle (ebook only) #2 Harry Powell & Belinda Penshurst
• Durrant, Helen H - Last Victim (ebook only) #5 DCI Rachel King
• Ellis, J R - Murder at St Anne's #7 Detective Chief Inspector Oldroyd, Yorkshire
• Gatward, D J - Cold Sanctuary (ebook only) #8 DCI Harry Grimm
• Gordon-Smith, Dolores - The Chapel in the Woods #11 Jack Haldean, 1920s
• Granger, Ann - Mystery in the Making #1 Short Story Collection
• Hanley, C B - By the Edge of the Sword #7 Edwin Weaver, C13
• Harrison, Cora - Spring of Hope #4 Gaslight Mystery
• Harte, Stephanie - Secrets and Lies
• Higashino, Keigo - Silent Parade #9 Detective Galileo tr. Giles Murray
• James, Ed - A Hill To Die On (ebook only) #8 DI Fenchurch, London
• Jones, Carys - We Are All Liars
• Kirk, JD - Come Hell or High Water #13 DCI Logan
• Kovach, Carla - Her Dying Wish #10 Detective Gina Harte
• Lees, Georgina - The Girl Upstairs
• Leitch, Fiona - A Cornish Christmas Murder #4 Jodie 'Nosey' Parker, Chef
• Lucius, Walter - A Sea of Flames #3 Heartland Trilogy tr. tbc
• Masters, Priscilla - Almost a Whisper #15 Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy, Leek, Staffordshire
• Maxwell, Alyssa - A Deadly Endowment #7 Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery
• McCallin, Luke - Where God Does Not Walk #4 Captain Gregor Reinhardt, Military Intelligence Officer, 1943 Sarajevo
• McDonald, Chris - Mistletoe and Crime #5 Stonebridge Mysteries
• Michaud, Martin - The Devil's Choir #3 Victor Lessard, Montreal tr. Arthur Holden
• Moore, Ian - Death a la Cuisine #2 Follet Valley Mystery
• Nickson, Chris - The Blood Covenant #4 Simon Westow, Thief-taker, Regency Leeds
• Oliver, Katie - Pride, Prejudice, and Peril #1 Jane Austen Tea Society Mystery
• Pattison, Nell - Hide (apa Nowhere to Hide)
• Renshaw, Jane - The Stepson (ebook only)
• Rijks, Miranda - The New Neighbour (ebook only)
• Rose, Jacqui - The Streets
• Rufin, Jean-Christophe - The Hanged Man of Conakry tr. Alison Anderson
• Smith, Alex - Sweet Briar Rose #7 DCI Robert Kett, Norfolk
• Taylor, Marsali- A Shetland Winter Mystery #10 Shetland Sailing Mysteries
• Todd, Marilyn - Dead Drop (ebook only) #4 Julia McAllister, Victorian Era
• Yamaguchi, Masaya - Death of the Living Dead tr. Ho-Ling Wong

Thursday, November 18, 2021

E C R Lorac - These Names Make Clues

I mentioned E C R Lorac a few short months ago after having read Two Way-Murder. I've since read Crossed Skis under her pseudonym Carol Carnac, and These Names Make Clues.

These Names Make Clues was first published in 1937 and republished just last September.

Official blurb from amazon:

‘Should detectives go to parties? Was it consistent with the dignity of the Yard? The inspector tossed for it—and went.’

Chief Inspector Macdonald has been invited to a treasure hunt party at the house of Graham Coombe, the celebrated publisher of Murder by Mesmerism. Despite a handful of misgivings, the inspector joins a guestlist of novelists and thriller writers disguised on the night under literary pseudonyms. The fun comes to an abrupt end, however, when ‘Samuel Pepys’ is found dead in the telephone room in bizarre circumstances.

Amidst the confusion of too many fake names, clues, ciphers and convoluted alibis, Macdonald and his allies in the CID must unravel a truly tangled case in this metafictional masterpiece, which returns to print for the first time since its publication in 1937.


I enjoyed this very much, especially the first half at the treasure hunt party and I loved this sentence taken from the second half of the book, when a character (name omitted) gets lost and asks for help:

The errand boy thus addressed gave directions which involved too many "firsts on your right and thirds on your left" for XXXX to follow, but with a general sense of direction culled from the complicated instructions he turned down a narrow suburban road and was rewarded shortly by the sign of that gallant gentleman "Major Road ahead".

My favourite of the three I've read so far though is Crossed Skis, set partly in Austria and giving an enormous flavour of post-war life and travel, as well as a good puzzle.

Chief Inspector Macdonald returns in February 2022 in Post After Post-Mortem. In the meantime I hope to catch up with more of the British Library Crime Classics collection and listen to more Shedunnit podcasts, in particular a recent one which revisits E C R Lorac.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

More Agatha Christie-related crime fiction

I did a short post last year about Golden Age crime writers and/or their characters living on and in 2017 a more specific post about Agatha Christie featuring in crime novels, however it's time to revisit this theme and we have not one but three recent/upcoming books which include her (or her homes), all from US authors/publishers.

Have you read any of these or plan to?

Here are the covers and blurbs taken from amazon:

Death at Greenway by Lori Rader Day


Bridey Kelly has come to Greenway House--the beloved holiday home of Agatha Christie--in disgrace. A terrible mistake at St. Prisca's Hospital in London has led to her dismissal as a nurse trainee, and her only chance for redemption is a position in the countryside caring for children evacuated to safety from the Blitz.

Greenway is a beautiful home full of riddles: wondrous curios not to be touched, restrictions on rooms not to be entered, and a generous library, filled with books about murder. The biggest mystery might be the other nurse, Gigi, who is like no one Bridey has ever met. Chasing ten young children through the winding paths of the estate grounds might have soothed Bridey's anxieties and grief--if Greenway were not situated so near the English Channel and the rising aggressions of the war.

When a body washes ashore near the estate, Bridey is horrified to realize this is not a victim of war, but of a brutal killing. As the local villagers look among themselves, Bridey and Gigi discover they each harbor dangerous secrets about what has led them to Greenway. With a mystery writer's home as their unsettling backdrop, the young women must unravel the truth before their safe haven becomes a place of death . . .




Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge

Tucked away among Devon's rolling green hills, Mallowan Hall combines the best of English tradition with the modern conveniences of 1930. Housekeeper Phyllida Bright, as efficient as she is personable, manages the large household with an iron fist in her very elegant glove. In one respect, however, Mallowan Hall stands far apart from other picturesque country houses... 

The manor is home to archaeologist Max Mallowan and his famous wife, Agatha Christie. Phyllida is both loyal to and protective of the crime writer, who is as much friend as employer. An aficionado of detective fiction, Phyllida has yet to find a gentleman in real life half as fascinating as Mrs. Agatha's Belgian hero, Hercule Poirot. But though accustomed to murder and its methods as frequent topics of conversation, Phyllida is unprepared for the sight of a very real, very dead body on the library floor...

A former Army nurse, Phyllida reacts with practical common sense--and a great deal of curiosity. It soon becomes clear that the victim arrived at Mallowan Hall under false pretenses during a weekend party. Now, Phyllida not only has a houseful of demanding guests on her hands--along with a distracted, anxious staff--but hordes of reporters camping outside. When another dead body is discovered--this time, one of her housemaids--Phyllida decides to follow in M. Poirot's footsteps to determine which of the Mallowans' guests is the killer. With help from the village's handsome physician, Dr. Bhatt, Mr. Dobble, the butler, along with other household staff, Phyllida assembles the clues. Yet, she is all too aware that the killer must still be close at hand and poised to strike again. And only Phyllida's wits will prevent her own story from coming to an abrupt end...


The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Only I know the truth of her disappearance.
I’m no Hercule Poirot.
I’m her husband’s mistress.


Agatha Christie’s world is one of glamorous society parties, country house weekends, and growing literary fame.

Nan O’Dea’s world is something very different. Her attempts to escape a tough London upbringing during the Great War led to a life in Ireland marred by a hidden tragedy.

After fighting her way back to England, she’s set her sights on Agatha. Because Agatha Christie has something Nan wants. And it’s not just her husband.

Despite their differences, the two women will become the most unlikely of allies. And during the mysterious eleven days that Agatha goes missing, they will unravel a dark secret that only Nan holds the key to . . .


Monday, November 08, 2021

Review: When Marnie Was There by Joan G Robinson

I recently posted my review of WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE by Joan G Robinson on my library's Facebook page. 

Next year sees the publication of Zoe Somerville's THE MARSH HOUSE which according to her website is

"inspired by the classic children’s novel When Marnie Was There, and the otherworldly, watery landscape of the North Norfolk marshes, [] is a supernatural tale of families, madness and murder."


I confess I hadn’t heard of the 1967 classic WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE by Joan G Robinson until the Studio Ghibli film of the same name was released in 2014. Hearing it was based on a book set in Norfolk I decided to seek it out.

The story is told by Anna, whose age is not specified but seems to be around eleven. She is orphaned at a young age and when her grandmother who was caring for her, also dies she is sent to a children’s home. She is later fostered by a London couple. But Anna doesn’t seem to fit in and is lonely and struggling at school and her health is suffering. In desperation her foster mum sends Anna to stay with friends of hers at the North Norfolk coastal village of Little Overton (modelled on the real-life Burnham Overy Staithe). Anna is immediately drawn to the Marsh House at the end of the creek and imagines who might live there.
Anna spends all her time outside, on the beach, paddling in the creeks and one day sees a young girl having her hair brushed in a window of the Marsh House.
One night, Anna finds a small boat tied up near her house and assumes it has been left for her to visit the Marsh House and she finally gets to meet the young girl, Marnie.
Marnie and Anna spend lots of time together though nobody sees them together and Anna is heard talking to herself. Is Marnie real or imagined?
When Marnie must leave, a new and happier chapter begins for Anna.
This is a very interesting and captivating book which was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. The book teases the mystery of who is Marnie: is she real, a figment of Anna’s imagination or even a ghost? It quietly covers themes of loss and loneliness and grief and acceptance in a beautifully realised Norfolk setting.
A remote, quiet world where there were only boats and birds and water, and an enormous sky.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Cover Theme: Children's Playgrounds III

Swings on covers continues to be popular. I've already done two posts but a crop of fresh titles means I can do a third!











Thursday, November 04, 2021

The Petrona Award 2021 - Winner


Winner of 2021 Petrona Award announced – a first win for historical crime


The winner of the 2021 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year is:


TO COOK A BEAR by Mikael Niemi, translated from the Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner and published by MacLehose Press.


As well as a trophy, Mikael Niemi receives a pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022. Mikael Niemi and Deborah Bragan-Turner will also receive a cash prize.


The judges’ statement on TO COOK A BEAR:


The judges adored TO COOK A BEAR, a historical crime novel set in northernmost Sweden in 1852, and were unanimous in our decision to select it as the Petrona Award winner for 2021. We were particularly impressed with the novel’s use of historical detail, its fascinating reimagining of a figure from history, the sense of location and atmosphere, the rumination on religion versus the natural world, and the depiction of early forensics. TO COOK A BEAR’s superb characterisation of the main protagonists Læstadius and Jussi, which is tinged with sadness yet hope, also allows the author to explore the issues of literacy and class with sensitivity and compassion. The beautiful translation by Deborah Bragan-Turner lets the novel shine for English-language readers around the world.

TO COOK A BEAR is the first historical crime novel to win the Petrona Award.



Comments from the winning author, translator and publisher:


Mikael Niemi (author):

I am very proud and happy to have received the Petrona Award and would like to thank my editor, Katharina Bielenberg, my translator Deborah Bragan-Turner, and my agency, Hedlund Literary Agency, who have made it possible for this novel to reach British readers. This happy news has brightened the growing winter darkness here in the very north of Scandinavia. I am sending my warmest thanks to all my British readers.


Deborah Bragan-Turner (translator):


I am absolutely thrilled and very honoured to receive the Petrona Award. It’s a great privilege to be in the company of such accomplished authors and translators on the shortlist. Many congratulations to you all. Thank you to MacLehose Press for your support and editorial advice, and to the panel of judges for your championing of and enthusiasm for Scandinavian fiction in translation. And of course thank you most of all, Mikael Niemi, for bringing the story of Jussi and the pastor to us in TO COOK A BEAR, an inspired novel and a joy to translate.


MacLehose Press:


We are delighted that Mikael Niemi’s novel has been recognised with the Petrona Award. TO COOK A BEAR is immersive and transporting, historical crime fiction at its best, and it has been thrilling to watch it find its readers in English. Powerfully vivid and lush in its descriptions of Sweden’s very far north, and brilliant on literacy and the power of language, it has been beautifully and imaginatively rendered in Deborah Bragan-Turner’s translation. Congratulations to them both!


The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his generous and continued support of the 2021 Petrona Award.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

New Releases - November 2021

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in November 2021 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). November and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment. I've added the translator's name where known.

• Ace, Cathy - The Corpse with the Granite Heart (ebook only) #11 Welsh-Canadian Professor Cait Morgan, Criminologist
• Allingham, Merryn - Murder on the Pier #2 Flora Steele, Sussex, 1955
• Baskerville, B - Northern Roulette (ebook only) #4 DCI Erica Cooper
• Beckett, Simon - The Lost #1 Jonah Colley, Armed response officer, Met Police
• Beevis, Keri - The People Next Door
• Bennett, S J - A Three Dog Problem #2 The Queen
• Bolton, R P - The Perfect House
• Brightwell, Emily - Mrs. Jeffries and the Midwinter Murders #40 Mrs Jeffries
• Brolly, Matt - The Mark #4 Detective Louise Blackwell
• Cambridge, Colleen - Murder at Mallowan Hall #1 Phyllida Bright, housekeeper to Agatha Christie
• Carver, Will - Psychopaths Anonymous #4 DS Pace
• Celestin, Ray - Sunset Swing #4 City Blues Quartet
• Clare, Alys - Magic in the Weave #4 Gabriel Taverner, Former ship's surgeon, C17 Devon
• Comley, M A - I Can See You #14 DI Sarah Ramsey
• Cross, A J - A Dark, Divided Self #3 Will Traynor, Criminologist
• Davies, Martin - Mrs Hudson and the Blue Daisy #5 Mrs Hudson and Sherlock Holmes
• Dennison, Hannah - Murder in Miniature at Honeychurch Hall #8 Kat Stanford
• Ellis, Bella - The Red Monarch #3 The Brontë Mysteries
• Ellis, Joy - The Night Thief (ebook only) #8 DI Rowan Jackman & DS Maria Evans, Lincolnshire
• Farrington, C J - Death on the Trans-Siberian Express #1 Olga Pushkin
• Fellowes, Jessica - The Mitford Vanishing #5 Louisa Cannon, Maid to the Mitfords, 1919
• Fitzek, Sebastian - Amok tr. tbc
• Follett, Ken - Never
• Gallagher, Charlie - Lethal Game #1 DI Joel Norris
• Gamboa, Santiago - The Night Will Be Long tr. Andrea Rosenberg
• Gerlis, Alex - Agent in Berlin #1 The Wolf Pack Spies
• Gibbons, Seán - Back Street Murder (ebook only) #2 Ben Miller, Taxi Driver, Galway
• Glenconner, Anne - A Haunting at Holkham
• Golding, Melanie - The Replacement
• Gray, Lisa - Lonely Hearts #4 Jessica Shaw
• Greenwood, Ross - The Cold Killer #4 DI Barton
• Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia - Dying Fall #23 Bill Slider, Shepherd's Bush CID
• Heafield, Jane - Her Dark Past
• Hendy, Hannah - The Dinner Lady Detectives
• Herron, Mick - Dolphin Junction #1 Short Story Collection
• Higgins, G D - Deathly Silence #2 Detective Conal Brophy
• Hodges, David - Stalker on the Levels (ebook only) #9 DC Kate Hamblin
• Hollow, Mike - The Pimlico Murder #6 Blitz Detective
• Holt, Anne - A Memory for Murder #3 Selma Falck tr. tbc
• Horst, Jorn Lier - A Question of Guilt #15 Chief Inspector William Wisting, Larvik tr. Anne Bruce
• Jardine, Quintin - Deadlock #33 Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Skinner, Edinburgh
• Jenkins, Victoria - The New Family
• Kent, Tony - No Way to Die
• Kernick, Simon - Good Cop Bad Cop
• Kitson, Bill - Cut-Throat (ebook only) #13 Detective Mike Nash, Yorkshire
• Kray, Roberta - Double Crossed
• Larkin, L A - The Safe Place
• Lebor, Adam - Dohany Street #3 Balthazar Kovacs, Detective, Budapest
• Mariani, Scott - The Crusader's Cross #24 Ben Hope, Ex-SAS
• Marsons, Angela - Stolen Ones #15 DI Kim Stone
• Martin, Faith - A Fatal Night #7 Ryder & Loveday, Oxford, 1960s
• Maslen, Andy - Plain Dead #3 DI Ford
• McCleave, Simon - This is London, SE15 (ebook only) #4 DC Ruth Hunter
• McLean, Rachel - The Monument Murders (ebook only) #4 DCI Lesley Clarke, Dorset
• McPherson, Catriona - Scot Mist #4 Last Ditch Mysteries
• Mukherjee, Abir - The Shadows of Men #5 Captain Sam Wyndham, Calcutta, 1919
• Nordin, Karen - Last One Alive #2 Detective Kjeld Nygaard, Sweden
• Norek, Olivier - Turf Wars #2 Banlieues Trilogy tr. tbc
• Odden, Karen - Down a Dark River #1 Inspector Corravan, Victorian London
• Oldham, Nick - Transfusion #27 DCI Christie
• Ollerton, Ollie - All Or Nothing #2 Alex Abbott
• Oswald, James - Nowhere to Run #3 DC Constance Fairchild
• Park, A J - Don't Speak
• Petersen, Christoffer - Arctic Recoil (ebook only) #4 Guerrilla Greenland
• Richards, Malcolm - Down in the Blood (ebook only) #2 PI Blake Hollow, Cornwall
• Richardson, Matthew - The Insider
• Ryder, John - The Hostage (ebook only)
• Scarrow, Simon - The Honour of Rome #20 Macro and Cato, Roman soldiers
• Shah, R D - Project Icarus #1 The Disavowed
• Sherratt, Mel - The Life She Wants (ebook only)
• Slater, K L - The Widow (ebook only)
• Smith, Fiona Veitch - The Crystal Crypt #6 Poppy Denby, 1920s Reporter
• Teague, Paul J - First To Die (ebook only) #1 Morecambe Bay Trilogy 3
• Templeton, Aline - Old Sins #4 DI Kelso Strang
• Thomas, Sherry - Miss Moriarty, I Presume? #6 Lady Sherlock
• Trow, M J - Four Thousand Days #1 Margaret Murray, Archaeologist, London 1900
• Vagner, Yana - To the Lake tr. Maria Wiltshire
• Walker, Martin - Bruno's Challenge & Other Dordogne Tales #1 Short Story Collection
• Waller, Anita - Code Blue #2 Connection Trilogy
• Walter, B P - The Woman on the Pier
• Watson, Sue - The New Wife (ebook only)
• Weaver, Tim -The Shadow at the Door #11 David Raker, Missing Persons Investigator

Monday, November 01, 2021

Book Tour: Extract from The Commandments by Óskar Guðmundsson tr. Quentin Bates

Welcome to the second stop on the book tour for The Commandments by Óskar Guðmundsson translated by Quentin Bates. The first stop was at the Nordic Lighthouse.

I am very pleased to be able to share this intriguing extract from The Commandments, courtesy of Corylus Books. The Commandments is a standalone novel, first published in Iceland in 2019 and is the first of Óskar's books to be published in English.



Official blurb:

Former police officer Salka Steinsdóttir finds herself pitched into the toughest investigation of her life, just as she is back in the tranquil north of Iceland to recover from a personal trauma.

The victim is someone she had pursued earlier in her career – and had never been able to pin down. Now a killer has taken the law into their own hands and meted out brutal retribution for ancient crimes. Salka is faced with tracking down the murderer of a stalwart of the church and the community, a man whose dark reputation stretches deep into the past, and even into the police team tasked with solving the case.

As the killer prepares to strike again, Salka and her team search for the band of old friends who could be either killers or victims – or both.

A bestseller in Iceland, The Commandments asks many challenging questions as it takes on highly emotive and controversial issues.


Extract:

He’s been here in the house. The man who murdered Hróbjartur and Helgi. He heard you come in, made a break for it and went this way through the bushes.’Salka looked to one side when there was no response and realised that the police officer hadn’t followed her. She could see him talking to a colleague in the living room. 
She stood up, shone the beam of the torch between the branches, and squeezed through into the next garden. The light of the torch showed faint but definite tracks leading to the back of the next house. She followed them as far as the sun deck behind the house. She stopped and switched the torch off as she noticed a movement behind the living room window. The house’s occupant sat at the living room table and opened a laptop. The reflections on the inside of the windows meant that he had probably noticed nothing. 
Salka saw barely discernible prints on the decking left by feet that had been through wet grass. They tracked at an angle across the deck towards the corner of the house. Salka cautiously followed them. She peered around the corner of the building and looked into the gap between the house and the garage. There was a small window on this side of the house and a dim light found its way into the gap, but not enough to illuminate the complete darkness at the far end. 
She felt for the torch switch, knowing she was taking a risk turning it on. When she pressed the button, nothing happened. She slapped it hard against her palm and a narrow beam appeared. The first thing she saw was the wood wall that closed off the gap between the house and the garage. The light went off. She banged it against the flat of her hand, but nothing happened. 
The next thing she saw was the man who rushed at her from the darkness. He grabbed her by the neck, and threw her to the ​ground.

***

Follow the tour:



Friday, October 01, 2021

New Releases - October 2021

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in October 2021 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). October and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment. I've added the translator's name where known.

• Amphlett, Rachel - The Lost Boy #3 Detective Mark Turpin
• Archer, Jeffrey - Over My Dead Body #4 Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick
• Barnes, Kerry - Trusted (ebook only)
• Beaton, M C - Agatha Raisin: Down the Hatch (with R W Green) #32 Agatha Raisin, Retired PR person, Cotswolds
• Bengtsdotter, Lina - For the Lost #3 Detective Charlie Lager - tr. tbc
• Black, Benjamin (as John Banville) - April in Spain #8 Quirke, pathologist, 1950s Dublin
• Bowen, Rhys - God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen #16 Lady Georgiana Rannoch ('Georgie'), 1930s Britain
• Brightwell, Emily - Mrs. Jeffries and the Midwinter Murders #40 Mrs Jeffries
• Brittany, Amanda - The Island House
• Brody, Frances - A Murder Inside #1 Nell Lewis, Prison Governor, Yorkshire, 1960s
• Buckley, Fiona - Shadow of Spain #20 Ursula Blanchard, an Elizabethan lady
• Burnet, Graeme Macrae - Case Study
• Camilleri, Andrea - Riccardino #28 Inspector Montalbano, Sicily, Italy - tr. Stephen Sartarelli
• Child, Lee - Better off Dead (with Andrew Child) #26 Jack Reacher, ex MP, USA
• Corbin, Julie - Whispers of a Scandal
• Craig, Fergus - Once Upon a Crime #1 Detective Roger LeCarre, Exeter
• Croft, Kathryn - The Other Husband
• Crouch, Julia - Mother's Helper
• Dakin, Emma - Perils in Yorkshire #3 British Book Tour Mysteries
• Davies, Abby - The Cult
• Dean, Will - Bad Apples #4 Tuva Moodyson, Sweden
• Diamond, Katerina - Trick or Treat #7 DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles
• Eldridge, Jim - Murder at the Savoy #2 Detective Chief Inspector Coburg & Sergeant Lampson
• Ellis, Joy - Fear On the Fens (ebook only) #13 DI Nikki Galena & DS Joe Easter, Greenborough
• Finlay, Caz - Traitor in the House #5 Bad Blood
• Gatland, Jack - Killing The Music (ebook only) #7 DI Declan Walsh
• Gradidge, Claire - Treachery at Hursley Park House #2 Josephine Fox
• Grebe, Camilla - The Hideout - tr. tbc
• Gudmundsson, Oskar - The Commandments - tr. Quentin Bates
• Gunnis, Emily - The Midwife's Secret
• Hall, Lisa - The Woman in the Woods
• Hancock, Anne Mette - The Corpse Flower #1 Journalist Heloise Kaldan and Police Officer Erik Schäfer - tr. tbc
• Hill, Susan - A Change of Circumstance #11 Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler, Lafferton
• Hunter, M A - Mummy's Little Secret
• Jarvis, Olly - The Genesis Inquiry #1 Ella Blake, Barrister
• Jesmond, Jane - On the Edge #1 Jen Shaw
• Kaya, Kerry - The Score (ebook only)
• Kirk, JD - Northwind #1 Robert Hoon
• Lake, Alex - Ready or Not
• Lawler, Liz - The Silent Mother
• Le Carre, John - Silverview
• Lynch, Rachel - Lying Ways #9 DI Kelly Porter, Lake District
• MacDonald, Dee - A Body at the Altar #4 Kate Palmer, Cornwall
• Mackenzie, M R - The Shadow Men #3 Anna Scavolini
• Magson, Adrian - Death at the Old Asylum #7 Inspector Lucas Rocco, Poissons-Les-Marais, 1960s
• Malliet, G M - Death in Cornwall #4 Detective Chief Inspector St Just
• Marston, Edward - Orders to Kill #9 Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy
• McFadyen, Ian - The Murky World of Timothy Wall #9 Inspector Steve Carmichael, Lancashire
• McGowan, Claire - I Know You
• Middleton, Ant - Cold Justice
• Mitchell, Caroline - The Midnight Man (ebook only)
• Nesser, Hakan - The Lonely Ones #4 Inspector Barbarotti - tr. tbc
• Perry, Anne - A Christmas Legacy
• Phifer, Helen - First Girl to Die (ebook only) #4 Detective Morgan Brookes
• Pine, Alex - The Killer in the Snow #2 DI James Walker, Cumbria
• Rader-Day, Lori - Death at Greenway
• Rayne, Sarah - The Murder Dance #6 Phineas Fox
• Rhodes, Kate - Devil's Table #5 DI Ben Kitto
• Ripley, Mike - Mr Campion's Wings #9 Albert Campion
• Sanderson, Lesley - Every Little Lie (ebook only)
• Scarrow, Alex - The Last Train (ebook only) #4 DCI Boyd
• Seeber, Claire - The Parents (ebook only)
• Sharp, Zoe - The Last Time She Died #1 Blake and Byron
• Sigurdardottir, Lilja - Cold as Hell - tr. Quentin Bates
• Swallow, James - Outlaw #6 Marc Dane
• Todd, Marion - Next in Line #5 DI Clare Mackay
• Tuomainen, Antti - The Rabbit Factor - tr. David Hackston
• Tursten, Helene - An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed #2 Short Stories (Maud) - tr. Marlaine Delargy
• Watts, Kerry - Death Rite #1 Detective Hazel Todd
• Wood, Michael - Survivor's Guilt #8 DCI Matilda Darke
• Yakovleva, Yulia - Punishment of a Hunter #1 Investigator Vasily Zaitsev, Leningrad, 1930s - tr. tbc
• Yeo-Sun, Kwon - Lemon - tr. Janet Hong

Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Petrona Award 2021 - Shortlist

From the press release which was embargoed until 8.00am today:

Outstanding crime fiction from Iceland, Norway and Sweden shortlisted for the 2021 Petrona Award


Six outstanding crime novels from Iceland, Norway and Sweden have been shortlisted for the 2021 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. The shortlist is announced today, Thursday 30 September.


A NECESSARY DEATH by Anne Holt, tr. Anne Bruce (Corvus; Norway)

DEATH DESERVED by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger, tr. Anne Bruce (Orenda Books; Norway)

THE SECRET LIFE OF MR. ROOS by Håkan Nesser, tr. Sarah Death (Mantle; Sweden)

TO COOK A BEAR by Mikael Niemi, tr. Deborah Bragan-Turner (MacLehose Press; Sweden)

THE SEVEN DOORS by Agnes Ravatn, tr. Rosie Hedger (Orenda Books; Norway)

GALLOWS ROCK by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland)


The winning title, usually announced at the international crime fiction convention CrimeFest, will now be announced on Thursday 4 November 2021. The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a cash prize, and the winning author will receive a full pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022.


The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.

The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his continued generous support of the Petrona Award. We would also like to thank Jake Kerridge for being a guest judge last year.

We are delighted to welcome new judge Ewa Sherman to the Petrona Team. Ewa is a translator and writer. She blogs at NORDIC LIGHTHOUSE, is a regular contributor to CRIME REVIEW, and volunteers at crime fiction festivals in Reykjavik, Bristol and Newcastle.


The judges’ comments on the shortlist:

There were 28 entries for the 2021 Petrona Award from six countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Sweden). The novels were translated by 17 translators and submitted by 20 publishers/imprints. There were 10 female, 16 male, one male/male pair and one male/female pair of authors.

This year’s Petrona Award shortlist once again sees Norway strongly represented with three novels; Sweden with two and Iceland with one. The crime genres represented include the police procedural, historical crime, psychological crime, literary crime and thriller.

The Petrona Award judges selected the shortlist from a rich field. The six novels stand out for their writing, characterisation, plotting, and overall quality. They are original and inventive, often pushing the boundaries of genre conventions, and tackle complex subjects such as class and power, the bonds of friendship, and the failure of society to support vulnerable individuals.

Today, very aptly, is International Translation Day. We are extremely grateful to the five translators whose expertise and skill have allowed readers to access these outstanding examples of Scandinavian crime fiction, and to the publishers who continue to champion and support translated fiction.


The judges’ comments on each of the shortlisted titles:


A NECESSARY DEATH by Anne Holt, tr. Anne Bruce (Corvus; Norway)

Anne Holt, according to Jo Nesbø, is the ‘godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction’. Best known for her ‘Hanne Wilhelmsen’ and ‘Vik/Stubø’ series (the inspiration for TV drama Modus), she also served as Norway’s Minister for Justice in the 1990s. A Necessary Death is the second in Holt’s ‘Selma Falck’ series, whose eponymous protagonist is a high-flying lawyer brought low by her gambling addiction. The novel shows Falck resisting an attempt to kill her: on waking in a burning cabin in a remote, sub-zero wilderness, she has to figure out how to survive, while desperately trying to remember how she got there. A pacy, absorbing thriller with a gutsy, complex main character.



DEATH DESERVED by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger, tr. Anne Bruce (Orenda Books; Norway)

Death Deserved marks the beginning of an exciting collaboration between two of Norway’s most successful crime authors. Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst are both already well known for their long-running ‘Henning Juul’ ­and ‘William Wisting’ series. Death Deserved, in which a serial killer targets well-known personalities, mines each writer’s area of expertise: the portrayal of detective Alexander Blix draws on Horst’s former career as a policeman, while Enger brings his professional knowledge of the media to the depiction of journalist Emma Ramm. The novel expertly fuses the writers’ individual styles, while showcasing their joint talent for writing credible and engaging characters, and creating a fast-paced, exciting plot.



THE SECRET LIFE OF MR. ROOS by Håkan Nesser, tr. Sarah Death (Mantle; Sweden)

Håkan Nesser, one of Sweden’s most popular crime writers, is internationally known for his ‘Van Veeteren’ and ‘Inspector Barbarotti’ series. The Secret Life of Mr. Roos is the third in a quintet featuring Gunnar Barbarotti, a Swedish policeman of Italian descent, who is a complex yet ethically grounded figure. His relatively late appearance in the novel creates space for the portrayal of an unlikely friendship between Mr. Roos, a jaded, middle-aged man who has unexpectedly won the lottery, and Anna, a young, recovering drug addict of Polish origin, who is on the run. Slow-burning literary suspense is leavened with a dry sense of humour, philosophical musings, and compassion for individuals in difficult circumstances.



TO COOK A BEAR by Mikael Niemi, tr. Deborah Bragan-Turner (MacLehose Press; Sweden)

Mikael Niemi grew up in the northernmost part of Sweden, and this forms the setting for his historical crime novel To Cook a Bear. It’s 1852: Revivalist preacher Lars Levi Læstadius and Jussi, a young Sami boy he has rescued from destitution, go on long botanical treks that hone their observational skills. When a milkmaid goes missing deep in the forest, the locals suspect a predatory bear, but Læstadius and Jussi find clues using early forensic techniques that point to a far worse killer. Niemi’s eloquent depiction of this unforgiving but beautiful landscape, and the metaphysical musings of Læstadius on art, literature and education truly set this novel apart.



THE SEVEN DOORS by Agnes Ravatn, tr. Rosie Hedger (Orenda Books; Norway)

Agnes Ravatn’s The Seven Doors has shades of Patricia Highsmith about it: a deliciously dark psychological thriller that lifts the lid on middle-class hypocrisy. When Ingeborg, the daughter of university professor Nina and hospital consultant Mads, insists on viewing a house that her parents rent out, she unwittingly sets off a grim chain of events. Within a few days, tenant Mari Nilson has gone missing, and when Nina starts to investigate her disappearance and past life as a musician, worrying truths begin to emerge. A novel about gender, power and self-deception, expertly spiced with Freud and Bluebeard, The Seven Doors delivers an ending that lingers in the mind.



GALLOWS ROCK by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland)

Gallows Rock is the fourth in Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s ‘Children’s House’ series, featuring child psychologist Freyja and police detective Huldar as a reluctant investigative duo. Their relationship provides readers with some lighter moments and occasional black humour, along with a frisson of mutual attraction. The novel’s intricate plot focuses on skewed morals and revenge: what begins as a ritualistic murder at an ancient execution site in the lava fields – the Gallows Rock of the title – leads to the unearthing of a case of long-term abuse, whose devastating impact is sensitively explored. The author won the 2015 Petrona Award for The Silence of the Sea.





The judges

Jackie Farrant – Crime fiction expert and creator of RAVEN CRIME READS; bookseller for twenty years and a Regional Commercial Manager for a major book chain in the UK.

Dr. Kat Hall – Translator and editor; Honorary Research Associate at Swansea University; international crime fiction reviewer at MRS. PEABODY INVESTIGATES.

Ewa Sherman – Translator and writer; blogger at NORDIC LIGHTHOUSE; regular contributor to CRIME REVIEW; volunteer at crime fiction festivals in Reykjavik, Bristol and Newcastle.


Award administrator

Karen Meek owner of the EURO CRIME website; reviewer, former CWA judge for the International Dagger, and Library Assistant.


Further information can be found on the Petrona Award website: http://www.petronaaward.co.uk.

Images of the Petrona Award logo and the shortlisted titles are available (from 8.00am) at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanseauniversity/sets/72157651434095286

(copy & paste link into browser)

On social media, please use #PetronaAward21.


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Petrona Award 2021 - Update

Just a quick update to let you know that the shortlist for the Petrona Award 2021 will be announced on Thursday 30 September aka International Translation Day. The shortlist will be taken from the 28 titles entered. These 28 titles are listed here.

Check back on Thursday to read the press release revealing the six books in the running for this year's Best Scandinavian Crime Novel. 

The winner will be announced on 4 November 2021.

Friday, September 03, 2021

New Releases - September 2021

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in September 2021 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). September and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.

• Anthology: Bodies from the Library 4 (ed. Tony Medawar)
• Anthology: Daggers Drawn (ed. Maxim Jakubowski)
• Abdullah, Kia - Next of Kin
• Blake, Sam - High Pressure (ebook only)
• Boland, Shalini - The Couple Upstairs
• Bonner, Hilary - The Danger Within #4 DI David Vogel, Bristol
• Bottini, Oliver - Night Hunters #4 The Black Forest Investigations
• Bradley, Rebecca - Seconds to Die (ebook only) #2 Claudia Nunn
• Bridgestock, R C - Persecution #3 DI Charley Mann, Yorkshire
• Browne, Sheryl - The Liar's Child
• Bruen, Ken - Callous
• Buchanan, Tracy - Trail of Destruction
• Chambers, Kimberley - The Family Man
• Clark, Anne Wyn - Whisper Cottage
• Cleeves, Ann - The Heron's Cry #2 Detective Matthew Venn, Devon
• Cooper, Catherine - The Chateau
• Cumming, Charles - Judas 62 #2 Box 88
• Curtis, Emma - Invite Me In
• Dalgliesh, J M - To Die For (ebook only) #9 Tom Janssen
• Daws, N R - A Quiet Place to Kill #1 Lizzie Hayes, Pilot & DI Jonathan Kember, 1940
• Day, Elizabeth - Magpie
• Delaney, Luke - The Killing Boys (ebook only)
• Doherty, Paul - Dark Queen Watching #3 Margaret Beaufort
• Douglas, Claire - The Couple at No 9
• Dowd, Victoria - The Supper Club Murders (ebook only) #3 Ursula Smart
• Down, Holly - The Courier
• Elliott, Lexie - How to Kill Your Best Friend
• Ford, Martyn - All Our Darkest Secrets
• Francis, Dick - Iced (by Felix Francis)
• French, Nicci - The Unheard
• Gatward, D J - Blood Sport (ebook only) #7 DCI Harry Grimm
• Gibney, Patricia - Little Bones #10 Detective Lottie Parker
• Goodwin, Sarah - Stranded
• Greene, Morgan - Old Blood (ebook only) #3 DI Jamie Johansson
• Griffiths, Elly - The Midnight Hour #6 Stephens and Mephisto, Brighton, 1950s
• Griffiths, Rebecca - The Girl at My Door
• Hannah, Mari - Her Last Request #8 Detective Chief Inspector Kate Daniels
• Hawkins, Alis - Not One Of Us #4 Harry Probert-Lloyd, 1850s, Wales
• Hayes, Samantha - The Trapped Wife
• Heley, Veronica - False Face #15 Bea Abbott, Sixty-something owner of The Abbott (Domestic) Agency
• Holland, Jane - Keep Me Close
• Hunter, M A - Exposed #6 The Missing Children Case Files
• Johnson, Alan - The Late Train to Gipsy Hill
• Knight, Alex - Darkness Falls
• Kovach, Carla - What She Did
• Lackberg, Camilla - Truth or Dare (ebook only) - Novella
• Lancaster, Neil - Dead Man's Grave #1 DS Max Craigie, Scotland
• Lee, M J - When the Guilty Cry #7 DI Ridpath
• Lynch, Rachel - Lying Ways #9 DI Kelly Porter, Lake District
• Mark, David - Past Life #9 Detective Sergeant McAvoy of Humberside CID
• Marsh, Alec - Ghosts of the West #3 Drabble and Harris
• Martin, Faith - Murder Now and Then (ebook only) #19 DI Hillary Greene, Oxfordshire
• Maslen, Andy - Death Wears A Golden Cloak (ebook only) #6 DI Stella Cole
• McCleave, Simon - The River Seine Killings (ebook only) #10 DI Ruth Hunter
• McIlvanney, William & Ian Rankin - The Dark Remains #1 Laidlaw's First Case
• Mey, Louise - The Second Woman
• Meyrick, Denzil - Terms of Restitution
• Mina, Denise - Rizzio
• Monroe, J S - The Man on Hackpen Hill
• Moss, NJ - Her Final Victim (ebook only)
• Mullen, Owen - The Accused (ebook only) #4 PI Charlie Cameron
• Mulrooney, Gretta - Murder in Mallow Cottage #3 DI Siv Drummond
• Nesbo, Jo - The Jealousy Man and Other Stories - Short Stories
• North, Lauren - Safe at Home
• Osman, Richard - The Man Who Died Twice #2 The Thursday Murder Club
• Penrose, Andrea - Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens #5 Wrexford & Sloane
• Perry, Anne - Three Debts Paid #5 Daniel Pitt, Barrister,1910
• Peston, Robert - The Whistleblower
• Petersen, Christoffer - Warrior (ebook only) #6 Greenland Crime
• Probyn, Jack - The Cadre (ebook only) #4 DC Jake Tanner
• Ramsay, Caro - The Silent Conversation #13 DCI McAlpine, DS Anderson and DS Costello, Glasgow
• Reynolds, Rod - Black Reed Bay #1 Detective Casey Wray, USA
• Rigby, Sally - Dark Secrets (ebook only) #11 DCI Whitney Walker & Dr Georgina Cavendish
• Rogers, Gemma - The Babysitter (ebook only)
• Scarr, Louisa - Under a Dark Cloud #2 DS Butler & DC West
• Seeck, Max - The Ice Coven #2 Jessica Niemi
• Shaw, Alex - Traitors #1 Sophie Racine and Aidan Snow
• Simenon, Georges - Death Threats: And Other Stories - Short Stories
• Smith, Alexander McCall - The Joy and Light Bus Company #22 Mma Ramotswe, PI, Botswana
• Tallon, Emma - Her Rival #2 Scarlet Drew
• Todd, Marilyn - Bad Blood (ebook only) #3 Julia McAllister, Victorian Era
• Tyler, L C - Too Much of Water #7 John Grey, lawyer, 1657
• Walden, Celia - Payday
• Walters, Victoria - Murder At The House On The Hill #1 Dedley End Mystery
• Ward, Rhiannon - The Shadowing
• Westerson, Jeri - The Deadliest Sin #15 Crispin Guest, ex Knight, Medieval times
• White, S R - Prisoner
• Wilkinson, Kerry - The Perfect Daughter (ebook only)
• Yahagi, Toshihiko - The Wrong Goodbye #3 Eiji Futamura

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

New Releases - August 2021

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in August 2021 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). August and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.

• Anthology: Many Deadly Return (ed. Martin Edwards)
• Allen, Jo - Death in the Woods (ebook only) #6 DCI Jude Satterthwaite, Lake District
• Amsinck, Heidi - My Name is Jensen
• Anderson, Lin - The Killing Tide #17 Rhona MacLeod, forensic scientist, Glasgow
• Batchelor, Penny - Her New Best Friend
• Bonda, Katarzyna - Conspiracy of Blood #2 Sasza Zaluska
• Calkins, Susanna - The Cry of the Hangman #6 Lucy Campion, Chambermaid, 17thC
• Cameron, Stella - The Playing Fields #7 Alex Duggins, Folly-on-Weir, Cotswolds
• Candlish, Louise - The Heights
• Carpenter, Elisabeth - The Vacancy
• Cavanagh, Steve - The Devil's Advocate #6 Eddie Flynn, USA
• Chaudhuri, A A - She's Mine
• Clark, Cassandra - The Day of the Serpent #2 Brother Chandler, 1399
• Conway, Simon - The Saboteur #2 Jude Lyon, MI6
• Croft, Elle - Buried
• Cutler, Judith - Death's Long Shadow #3 Matthew Rowsley, Steward & Mrs Faulkner, Housekeeper, Victorian Era
• Cutts, Lisa - Murder in the Village (ebook only) #4 Harry Powell
• De Giovanni, Maurizio - Bread For the Bastards of Pizzofalcone #5 Bastards of Pizzofalcone
• de la Motte, Anders - End of Summer #3 Seasons Quartet
• Dennison, Hannah - Danger at the Cove #2 Island Sisters
• Dixon, Patricia - The Other Woman
• Dunn, Matthew - The Spy Thief #5 Ben Sign, MI6
• Ellis, Kate - The Stone Chamber #25 Wesley Peterson (policeman) and Neil Watson (archaeologist), Tradmouth, Devon
• Ellwood, Nuala - The Perfect Life
• Feeney, Alice - Rock Paper Scissors
• Fitzek, Sebastian - The Soul Breaker
• Gatland, Jack - A Ritual For the Dying #6 DI Declan Walsh
• Grace, Ed - A Deadly Weapon #4 Jay Sullivan
• Gregory, Susanna - The Chancellor's Secret #25 Matthew Bartholomew, 14th Century physician, Cambridge
• Hamilton, Karen - The Ex-Husband
• Haughton, Emma - The Dark
• Hawkins, Paula - A Slow Fire Burning
• Hawkswood, Sarah - Wolf at the Door #9 Bradecote and Catchpoll, Worcestershire, C12 Bradecote and Catchpoll, Worcestershire, C12
• Holliday, Susi - Substitute
• Horowitz, Anthony - A Line to Kill #3 Detective Daniel Hawthorne
• Howard, Catherine Ryan - 56 Days
• Hrib, Bogdan - Resilience
• Huber, Anna Lee - Murder Most Fair #5 Verity Kent, England, 1919
• Hunter, M A - Repressed #5 The Missing Children Case Files
• Jameson, Emma - A Death at Candlewick Castle #2 Jemima Jago, Librarian, Isles of Scilly
• Jecks, Michael - The Moorland Murderers #6 Jack Blackjack, Tudor Era
• Jolly, Meg - The Mistakes We Deny #3 DI Ward, Yorkshire
• Jones, Sandie - The Guilt Trip
• Kent, Anna - The House of Whispers
• Kirk, JD - Colder than the Grave #8 DCI Logan
• La Plante, Lynda - Unholy Murder #7 WPC Tennison
• Lawrance, Jodie - The Evidence #2 Detective Helen Carter, Edinburgh, 1970s
• Legat, Anna - Death Comes to Bishops Well #1 Shires Mysteries
• Louth, Nick - The Body on the Moor #8 DCI Craig Gillard
• Mark, David - Darkness Falls #1 McAvoy Prequel
• Marsh, JJ - Wolf Tones
• Marshall, Laura - The Anniversary
• McDermid, Val - 1979 #1 Allie Burns, Journalist
• McDermott, Alan - When Death Strikes #4 Eva Driscoll
• McGeorge, Chris - Half-Past Tomorrow
• McIver, Ruth - I Shot the Devil
• McLean, Rachel - The Island Murders #3 DCI Lesley Clarke, Dorset
• Mo, Johanna - The Night Singer #1 Detective Hanna Duncker
• Morris, Vera - The Great Shroud #5 Anglian Detective Agency series
• Paulson-Ellis, Mary - Emily Noble's Disgrace
• Robb, Candace - The Riverwoman's Dragon #13 Owen Archer
• Robson, Amanda - The Unwelcome Guest
• Rose, C E - The House on the Water's Edge (ebook only)
• Russell, Leigh - Deep Cover #16 DI Geraldine Steel
• Saunders, Kate - The Mystery of the Sorrowful Maiden #3 Laetitia Rodd, Private Detective, Victorian Era
• Sennen, Mark - Puppet (ebook only) #7 DI Charlotte Savage
• Sharp, Zoe - Trial Under Fire #1 Charlie Fox Prequel
• Sheridan, Sara - Celtic Cross #9 Mirabelle Bevan (retired Secret Service), 1950s
• Silver, Abi - The Midas Game #5 Burton and Lamb
• Sivakumaran, Anita - Cold Sun
• Skelton, Douglas - A Rattle of Bones #3 Rebecca Connolly
• Smith, Alex - Every Mother's Son #6 DCI Robert Kett, Norfolk
• Spencer, Sally - Poison #14 DCI Monika Paniatowski, Whitebridge
• Sykes, S D - The Good Death #5 Oswald de Lacy, 14C Kent
• Temple, Rose - A Fatal Move (ebook only) #3 ex-Met PC Jemima Cotton, Little Cote
• Trinchieri, Camilla - The Bitter Taste of Murder #2 Nico Doyle, Chianti, Italy
• Unge, Christian - Hell and High Water #1 Dr Tekla Berg
• Waller, Anita - Blood Red
• Young, Glenda - Murder at the Seaview Hotel #1 Helen Dexter, Scarborough

Sunday, August 08, 2021

E C R Lorac - Two-Way Murder

Despite Martin Edwards' best efforts it would be fair to say I have not read much classic crime fiction other than that by Agatha Christie, and a few by D L Sayers. However like a very large ship I am slowly turning in the right direction.

Last year I reviewed Anthony Gilbert's Death in Fancy Dress and earlier this year I listened to the Shedunnit podcast featuring E C R Lorac. I believe I chose this particular episode to download as author Sarah Ward featured on it. Sarah gave a talk at 'Bodies in the Library 2019' about E C R Lorac, a prolific author but of whom little is now known. 

You can read the transcript of the episode or listen to it at Shedunnit.

Fortunately the British Library has published several of Lorac's books as well as Crossed Skis which was released under her pseudonym of Carol Carnac.

I rootled round my library's catalogue and saw that they had several books including from 2021, Two-Way Murder, which I promptly reserved. I was surprised to find out in the introduction by Martin Edwards that this is its first publication, having been written shortly before the author's death in 1958.


I enjoyed Two-Way Murder very much. Initially I was worried that I'd chosen something very similar to Death in Fancy Dress as both seemed to feature a significant Ball and a young lady every man wanted to marry. Fortunately that wasn't the case.

Two-Way Murder revolves around the discovery of a body in the road, a road that was clear only a few hours earlier and a road very lightly used. The police struggle to even identify the body let alone how he came to be in the road.  All the main characters have alibis for the estimated time of death and the local police are stumped until Inspector Waring from CID is brought in and he has a brainwave.

The story is narrated from several points of view but even so they are quite cagey with the reader so even if the 'who' is guessable/deducible then I don't think the "why" is. This does not detract from an atmospheric whodunnit, set in a chilly, misty January on the English south coast. 

I shall be seeking out more by this author.


Friday, August 06, 2021

2021 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year - Winner

The winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2021 was We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker, with a Highly Commended for The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway.

More details can be found at the Harrogate Festivals blog.

Amazon blurb: For fans of Jane Harper's The Dry comes a powerful novel about the lengths we will go to keep our family safe. This is a story about good and evil and how life is lived somewhere in between.

Thirty years ago, Vincent King became a killer.

Now, he's been released from prison and is back in his hometown of Cape Haven, California. Not everyone is pleased to see him. Like Star Radley, his ex-girlfriend, and sister of the girl he killed.

Duchess Radley, Star's thirteen-year-old daughter, is part-carer, part-protector to her younger brother, Robin - and to her deeply troubled mother. But in trying to protect Star, Duchess inadvertently sets off a chain of events that will have tragic consequences not only for her family, but also the whole town.

Murder, revenge, retribution.

How far can we run from the past, when the past seems doomed to repeat itself?


Technical Issues

I had hoped to have the August releases out on time however we are having some technical issues at the moment. We've moved from a desktop to a laptop and couldn't take the MS Office license with us and the new code we've been sent hasn't worked. I'm in touch with the company so hopefully it'll be resolved soon. It's causing a bit of stress, to add to everything else going on!

Monday, July 05, 2021

New Releases - July 2021

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in July 2021 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). July and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.

• Ægisdóttir, Eva Björg - Girls Who Lie #2 Forbidden Iceland
• Alderson, Sarah - The Stalker
• Allan, Claire - Ask No Questions
• Amphlett, Rachel - A Darker Place #10 Detective Kay Hunter
• Anderson, Lin - The Killing Tide #17 Rhona MacLeod, forensic scientist, Glasgow
• Ashley, Jennifer - Death at the Crystal Palace #5 Kat Holloway, Victorian Era
• Billingham, Mark - Rabbit Hole
• Black, P R - The Runner
• Bradley, Lisa - The Lesson
• Bugler, Sheila - The Lucky Eight
• Cole, Daniel - Mimic
• Connolly, John - The Nameless Ones #19 Charlie Parker, PI, Maine
• Dahl, Alex - Cabin Fever
• Denzil, Sarah A - The Housemaid (ebook only)
• Doherty, Paul - Mother Midnight #22 Hugh Corbett
• Doughty, Stuart - Killing Art #4 John Kite
• Dranfield, Wendy - Little Girl Taken #3 Detective Madison Harper
• Duffy, Margaret - The Not Quite Perfect Murderer #23 Major Patrick Gillard, MI5 & Ingrid Langley, author (ex MI5)
• Edwards, Mark - The Hollows
• Edwards, Martin - The Crooked Shore #8 Daniel Kind, Historian and DCI Hannah Scarlett, Lake District
• Ellis, Joy - Marshlight #4 Matt Ballard
• Finlay, Mick - Arrowood and The Meeting House Murders #4 Arrowood, PI, 1895
• Finney, Keith - A Deadly Coincidence #1 Lipton St Faith Mysteries, Norfolk
• Flood, Helene - The Therapist
• Fowler, Christopher - Bryant & May - London Bridge is Falling Down #18 Inspectors Bryant and May, London
• Frank, Matthew - The Killer Inside #3 Ex-soldier police detective Joseph Stark, London
• Freeman, Dianne - A Fiancee's Guide to First Wives and Murder #4 Countess of Harleigh, Victorian England
• Granger, Ann - The Truth-Seeker's Wife #8 Lizzie Martin, Lady's companion and Inspector Ben Ross, Victorian Era
• Green, Simon R - Buried Memories #10 Ishmael Jones
• Hanington, Peter - A Cursed Place #3 William Carver, BBC Reporter
• Harris, Oliver - Ascension #2 Elliot Kane
• Henry, James - Whitethroat #3 DI Nick Lowry, Essex, 1983
• Hewitt, J M - The Life She Wants
• Hill, Suzette A - Shadow Over Southwold #6 Rosy Gilchrist
• Humphreys, Neil - Bloody Foreigners #1 Inspector Low, London
• Hurley, Graham - Kyiv #6 Wars Within
• Indridason, Arnaldur - The Darkness Knows #1 Detective Konrad
• Jackson, David - The Rule
• Jewell, Lisa - The Night She Disappeared
• Kaya, Kerry - The Price
• Khan, Vaseem - The Dying Day #2 Inspector Persis Wadia
• Kiernan, Olivia - The Murder Box #4 DCS Frankie Sheehan
• Kinsey, T E - A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball #2 Dizzy Heights
• Kinsley, Erin - Missing
• Kluver, Joy - Broken Girls (ebook only) #2 Detective Bernadette Noel
• Koomson, Dorothy - I Know What You've Done
• Kovach, Carla - One Left Behind #9 Detective Gina Harte
• Lackberg, Camilla - Silver Tears #2 Faye Adelheim
• Leather, Stephen - Fast Track #18 Dan Shepherd, SAS trooper turned undercover cop
• Leonard, Niall - M, King's Bodyguard
• Lovesey, Peter - Diamond and the Eye #20 Peter Diamond, Bath
• Lynes, S E - The One to Blame
• MacDonald, Siobhan - The Bride Collector
• MacNeal, Susan Elia - The Hollywood Spy #10 Maggie Hope
• Mara, Andrea - All Her Fault
• McAllister, Gillian - That Night
• McDermott, Andy - Rogue Asset #1 Alex Reeve
• McLean, Rachel - The Corfe Castle Murders #1 DCI Lesley Clarke, Dorset
• McLean, Rachel - The Clifftop Murders (ebook only) #2 DCI Lesley Clarke, Dorset
• Moore, Ian - Death and Croissants #1 Follet Valley Mystery
• Murphy, Peter - A Statue for Jacob
• Musso, Guillaume - The Secret Life of Writers
• O'Connor, Carlene - Murder in Connemara #2 Tara Meehan
• Parker, Rob - Far from the Tree #1 Thirty Miles Trilogy
• Philby, Charlotte - The Second Woman
• Pineiro, Claudia - Elena Knows
• Rowe, Rosemary - A Dreadful Destiny #19 Mosaicist Libertus, Glevum (modern Gloucester)
• Ryder, John - The Witness (ebook only)
• Sáenz, Eva García - The Lords of Time #3 Inspector Unai Lopez de Ayala
• Scarrow, Alex - Burning Truth (ebook only) #3 DCI Boyd
• Schellman, Katharine - Silence in the Library #2 Lily Adler, London, 1815
• Schneider, Hansjorg - The Basel Killings
• Sedgwick, Helen - Where the Missing Gather #2 Burrowhead Mystery
• Sedira, Samira - People Like Them
• Sigurdardottir, Yrsa - The Doll #5 Children's House series
• Stacey, Lynda - No Place Like Home
• Staincliffe, Cath - Running out of Road
• Stone, Lisa - The Cottage
• Stringer, Jay - Don't Tell A Soul
• Taylor, Marsali - The Shetland Sea Murders #9 Shetland Sailing Mysteries
• Temple, Rose - Death on the Doorstep (ebook only) #2 ex-Met PC Jemima Cotton, Little Cote
• Todd, Charles - An Irish Hostage #12 Bess Crawford, battlefield nurse, WWI
• Tremayne, Peter - The House of Death #30 Sister Fidelma
• Walker, Rosie - House Fire
• Walsh, Jackie - Her White Lie
• Wassmer, Julie Strictly Murder #8 Pearl Nolan, Whitstable (June release)
• Watt, Holly - The Hunt and the Kill #3 Casey Benedict, Investigative Journalist
• Whitehouse, Lucie - Risk of Harm #2 Ex-DI Robin Osborne, Birmingham
• Woods, Karen - Tracks

Friday, July 02, 2021

CWA Dagger Awards 2021 - Winners

Please find below, the press release detailing the winners of this year's CWA Dagger Awards. I've highlighted the translated authors.

The shortlists can be found here.

CWA Dagger Awards Announced

Chris Whitaker, Michael Robotham, Vaseem Khan and Peter May win 2021 CWA Daggers.

The winners of the 2021 CWA Daggers, which honour the very best in the crime writing genre, have been announced.

The prestigious Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger, which is awarded for the crime novel of the year, goes to Chris Whitaker for We Begin at the End. Past winners of the Gold Dagger include John le Carré, Reginald Hill and Ruth Rendell.

Praised as ‘truly memorable’ by the CWA judges, We Begin at The End has been a Waterstones Thriller of the Month and sold in 17 territories, with screen rights snapped up by Disney. Chris Whitaker was first recognised by the CWA as a debut author, when he received the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger in 2017 for Tall Oaks.

Chris has said writing ‘saved his life’ twice. He began writing as a therapeutic response to being mugged, and stabbed, aged 19, then later falling into serious debt in his job as a city trader. Quitting his finance job in London aged 30, he moved to Spain to write his debut novel.

Maxim Jakubowski, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: ‘This year’s Gold Dagger shortlist featured remarkable books, but We Begin at the End is an astoundingly beautiful and moving achievement in storytelling. Chris’s talent shone through when we awarded him the John Creasey Dagger in 2017. It’s inspiring to see him now take Gold, and I’m delighted that the CWA judges recognised this now acclaimed author from the very start.’

S A Cosby for Blacktop Wasteland and Nicci French with House of Correction were also Highly Commended in the Gold Dagger category.

Michael Robotham, who won the Gold Dagger in 2015 and 2020, wins this year’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for best thriller, for When She Was Good.

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger is sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, the Fleming family-owned company that looks after the James Bond literary brand. CWA judges praised the novel as ‘an urgent, poignant and terrifying thriller’.

Born in Australia, Michael worked as a journalist in Australia, America and the UK – as senior feature writer for the Mail on Sunday – before becoming a ghost writer collaborating with politicians and show business personalities to write their autobiographies. Since his first psychological thriller, The Suspect, caused a bidding war at the London Book Fair in 2002, his novels have won numerous awards and been translated into 25 languages.

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels. This year the accolade goes to Eva Björg Ægisdóttir for The Creak on the Stairs. The Icelandic author wrote her debut while working as a flight attendant and juggling being a mother, writing the first draft in just nine months. It was a bestseller in Iceland before being picked up in the UK by Orenda Books.

Vaseem Khan wins the Sapere Books Historical Dagger for Midnight at Malabar House, set in 1949/1950 Bombay. Born in London, Vaseem spent a decade in India as a management consultant. Since 2006 he has worked at University College London’s Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science.

The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger goes to South Korean author Yun Ko-eun for The Disaster Tourist, translated by Lizzie Buehler, praised by the CWA judges as a ‘wildly entertaining eco-thriller’.

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction is awarded to forensic pathologist, Sue Black, for Written in Bone praised by the CWA judges as a ‘humane, wise book’.

The CWA Daggers are one of the few high-profile awards that honour the short story. Clare Mackintosh wins the award with her short story ‘Monsters’ in First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books. The judges praised it for its powerful twist.

The Dagger in the Library is voted on exclusively by librarians, chosen for the author’s body of work and support of libraries. This year it goes to Peter May. The Scottish author has become well recognized for his work both as a novelist and in film and television. His books have sold several million copies worldwide and have won awards in the UK, the USA, and France.

Chair of the judges, Sue Wilkinson, said: ‘Peter May infuses his books with a real sense of place, whether it be China, France or the Hebrides.  His books are tense, atmospheric and complex but always utterly absorbing.’

One of the anticipated highlights of the annual Daggers is the Debut Dagger competition, open to unknown and uncontracted writers. The competition for unpublished writers can lead to securing representation and a publishing contract. This year the winner is Hannah Redding for Deception.

The judges said:Deception has all the ingredients of a compelling mystery, complete with unreliable narrators, a cut-off location and a nicely compact time frame.’

Fiona McPhillips was also Highly Commended for Underwater. Praised as being ‘full of intrigue…  The issues of class, sexuality and power explored were very well done.’

The Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year Dagger, which celebrates publishers and imprints demonstrating excellence and diversity in crime writing, goes to the independent publisher, Head of Zeus. Established in 2012, Head of Zeus went from start-up to a multi-million-pound business and positioned itself at the forefront of the eBook revolution.

Maxim said: “These awards testify to the wealth of great books and diversity within the crime genre. The Daggers are assuredly the best and most accurate reflection of what's happening on the crime and mystery writing front, with all judges independent of the CWA and renewed on a regular basis.”

The winners were announced at a virtual ceremony on I July, Daggers Live! dubbed the ‘Oscars of the crime genre’.

The evening was hosted by leading crime expert, Barry Forshaw with guest speaker, Abir Mukherjee, who won last year’s CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger for his novel Death in the East.

Martina Cole also featured at the awards event as the recipient of the 2021 Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, the highest honour in British crime writing.

One of the UK’s most prominent societies, the CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasey; the awards started in 1955 with its first award going to Winston Graham, best known for Poldark. They are regarded by the publishing world as the foremost British awards for crime-writing.


Dagger Winners 2021

CWA GOLD DAGGER

Winner: Chris Whitaker: We Begin at the End (Zaffre, Bonnier)

Highly Commended

S A Cosby: Blacktop Wasteland (Headline, Headline Publishing Group); Nicci French: House of Correction (Simon & Schuster)

 

CWA IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER

Michael Robotham: When She Was Good (Sphere, Little, Brown Book Group)

 

CWA JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER

Eva Björg Ægisdóttir: The Creak on the Stairs (Orenda), Translator: Victoria Cribb

 

CWA SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER

Vaseem Khan: Midnight at Malabar House (Hodder & Stoughton)

 

CWA ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION

Sue Black: Written in Bone (Doubleday, Penguin)

 

CWA CRIME FICTION IN TRANSLATION DAGGER

Yun Ko-eun: The Disaster Tourist, translated by Lizzie Buehler (Serpent's Tail)

 

CWA SHORT STORY DAGGER

Clare Mackintosh: ‘Monsters’ in First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books (The Dome Press)

 

CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY

Peter May

 

CWA PUBLISHERS DAGGER

Head of Zeus

 

CWA DEBUT DAGGER

(Competition for an unpublished novel)

Winner: Hannah Redding – Deception

Highly commended: Fiona McPhillips – Underwater